U of G Honoured for Excellence in Environmental Stewardship

June 24, 2011 - Campus Bulletin

The University of Guelph was recognized at the annual Guelph Awards of Excellence Thursday night for its environmental stewardship.

Staff, students and faculty were all acknowledged at the Guelph Chamber of Commerce event for helping the University meet its commitment to reduce its ecological footprint.

Despite a growing campus population and the construction of several new facilities, U of G reduced its greenhouse-gas emissions by 1,363 tonnes last year through decreased demand for electricity and natural gas ― a 1.9 per cent reduction from 2008-09. The University also saved about 37,000 cubic metres of water last year, 4.6 per cent lower than in 2008-09.

These energy and water conservation efforts are part of a five-year Community Energy Plan developed by the University and the City of Guelph in 2008. The plan aims to improve energy efficiency on campus by 1.5 per cent a year on average through retrofit and upgrading projects.

"This is an award for the entire University community and their attention to environmental stewardship,” said Dan Maclachlan, director of design, engineering and construction in Physical Resources. He received the award on behalf of the University.

“The benefits of our energy and sustainability programs continue to exceed our calculations because there is so much going on behind the scenes by so many engaged individuals. Our energy and water conservation programs are firmly entrenched in our capital planning program, but it is the cumulative day-to-day efforts of the community that put us over the top."

The award also recognized U of G’s success in diverting 60 per cent of campus waste from landfilling through community partnerships and through student and staff efforts, notably the Moveout Madness program.

U of G student leadership was acknowledged. Students voted in 2006 to contribute $10 per student per semester to an energy conservation fund. In 2008, graduate students agreed to a similar program. Students have committed more than $400,000 a year to energy projects for 12 years, with University matching funds.

The award recognized the U of G 2010 Presidential Task Force on Sustainability. The University is currently considering recommendations from the task force report on environmental initiatives.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1